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fluorescent lights mixed with led's Does it work?

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Danny Winn
fluorescent lights mixed with led's Does it work?
on Jan 25, 2014 at 4:53:50 pm

Hey guys, I've been using fluorescent soft boxes forever now but I would like to add an LED 500 for my back/hair light to get a harsher light rim around my subjects. Do the two different types of lights mix well together??? Both are rated at around 5200k so it seems it should work but I was hoping to find somebody that has experiance with this set up to give me some pointers.

Thanks much!


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Todd Terry
Re: fluorescent lights mixed with led's Does it work?
on Jan 25, 2014 at 6:33:55 pm

You should be fine... it's not the type of lighting instrument that you should be wary of mixing, it's the color temperature, and those should be close.

I mix lighting types all the time... on one of my sets it's not unusual to see tungsten, flo, LED, and HMI instruments all at the same time.

One of your issues might be color accuracy, however. Many LEDs do not have a very high CRI, and many of them have ugly green spikes. You can usually correct this with gel.

Also, I don't know what your setup is or how much firepower you have going on, but a 500 LED might be way overkill. When I use an LED for a back/hair light I often use just a little Switronix TorchLED, which is almost always way more than enough. It's also a great little instrument because it is dimmable and bicolor...and has a very small faceprint so the light can be harder if you choose.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Danny Winn
Re: fluorescent lights mixed with led's Does it work?
on Jan 25, 2014 at 8:24:54 pm
Last Edited By Danny Winn on Jan 25, 2014 at 8:26:08 pm

Thanks for the reply Todd, I just did a bunch of studying on the Switronix Torch LED Bolt after reading your response and it looks really cool! It looks like that particular light might have to be kinda close to the subject to get the really harsh rim light I'm going for, is that correct?

Most of my commercial shoots are in wide rooms where the lights must be kinda high and far away, do you think this little light could get the job done in that enviorment?

I'm really considering buying it now, just need some more details first;)

This is a quick example of the type of harsh rim light I'm going for: http://siextramustard.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/peyton600.jpg%3Fw%3D600%2...


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Todd Terry
Re: fluorescent lights mixed with led's Does it work?
on Jan 26, 2014 at 5:46:07 am

Yeah, you're not going to get a hard side/rim like that from the little Switronix, at least not in exactly that setup.

For that look, what I usually do is take a mediumish HMI (usually a 1200w Fresnel) and put it high and to the side/rear on a tall junior or combo stand. I'll blast that into a white 4x4 in front of the talent for the key... but, I'll also arrange the instrument/barndoors so that I can "steal" a little bit of that instrument directly to splash on the talent. It's a good setup, it will give you a very nice large soft key combined with a very hard side/rim... all with just using one instrument.

But... you can't really do it that way with a single LED, and certainly not with that Switronix.

You might get a rim that hard from the Switronix if you can place it close enough to the talent. I'd say if your talent can turn around and reach up toward the backlight and either touch it or come fairly close (maybe within a foot) then it'd do nicely. If you have a large space or very wide shots where you have to place it farther away, then you need something with more punch.

The TorchLED is a great little instrument though, in the right applications.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Danny Winn
Re: fluorescent lights mixed with led's Does it work?
on Jan 26, 2014 at 4:01:48 pm

Hey Todd, thanks again for the reply. That pick was probably a bad example as 95% of my commercial video shoots are Indoors, this new pic is really more what I'm looking to capture as far as a hard rim light for my videos. I agree, I don't think the Bolt is strong enough to pull it off without being super close to the subject. I'll probably just get the E-photo 600 LED and hope for the best;)

New example: http://www.photomatters.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/full_mid/2-12-10...

Thanks much!


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Todd Terry
Re: fluorescent lights mixed with led's Does it work?
on Jan 26, 2014 at 6:42:55 pm

Well Danny, in your second example, something like the Switronix would be just fine.

My concern about your 500 or so as a backlight is that the faceprint is so large you might not get a really hard hardlight. They are certainly not soft, but the hundreds of multiple bulbs do give a sort of spread-out multiple shadows look.

That's on reason the Switronix is so cool, its faceprint is very tiny so the effect is more like a single source. Plus being bi-color helps... even when I'm shooting daylight temps sometimes I lower the temp on the backlight a bit for a nice warm look.

When we need more than that, we use LEDs that have about the same firepower as a 1000 LED, but they do it with 24 very bright ones instead of a thousand little ones... it makes for a smaller faceprint and more punch.

This is one of our setups from an old post, but it applies to the look you are trying to get...



At any rate, whichever instruments you go with make sure they are dimmable. With this setup, the ability to tweak it up or down a little bit will make your life much much easier.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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